Meet Your PALs

Every Residential Commons is assigned one Peer Academic Leader (PAL) for the entirety of the academic year.

You’ll often see PALs hosting monthly programs within their assigned Commons centered around degree planner, enrollment, or campus resources.

All PALs are Certified Peer Educators (CPE) through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators or NASPA.

Get to know your PALs below

Hannah Ashby

Hannah Ashby (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Los Altos, CA
  • Majors: Psychology

SMU has so much to offer and as a Peer Academic Leader, I hope to be able to help students learn more about their resources and help them along on their college journey."

Josh Martinez

Josh Martinez (He/Him)

  • Hometown: Dallas, TX
  • Major: B.S. in Economics with Finance Applications

"Change is something that is quite common in life. This is why becoming a PAL is an exciting moment, as the position allows me to help utilize my skills and experience. Whether you're a Freshman or a Senior, I want to help plan and guide your academic journey at SMU."

Julia Knowles

Julia Knowles (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Dallas, TX
  • Major: Political Science

"I'm excited about helping new students learn the ropes of being a college student and how to succeed using the many resources SMU has to offer."

Kauai Wilson

Kauai Wilson (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Flower Mound, TX
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering

"I’m pleased to be a Peer Academic Leader because I enjoy making people’s lives easier, while hopefully brightening their day. SMU puts a lot of effort to ensure mustangs both new and returning understand what steps to take." 

Mansi Gupta

Mansi Gupta (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Frisco, TX
  • Major: CCPA, Human Rights, Political Science

"I want to assist students with any worries they have about navigating their academic life at SMU and provide support so they can perform to the best of their abilities." 

Meighan Ashford

Meighan Ashford (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Keller, TX
  • Major: Fashion Media and Journalism

"SMU allows each student the opportunity the chance of finding their unique place and spot where they get the chance to express just how special they are, and I can’t wait to profess that in what I am about to do for these students." 

Radha Chitgopkar

Radha Chitgopkar (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Plano, TX
  • Major: Biology and Data Science

"I am excited to help students navigate their academic life at SMU and explore the many resources that SMU has to offer. At SMU, each student is able to excel, blaze their own path, and explore exciting opportunities that foster innovation and growth. The constant interaction with bright minds and an encouraging environment makes SMU a great place to thrive."

Ruth Kinyua

Ruth Kinyua (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Dallas, TX
  • Major: Biochemistry and Spanish

"I am most excited about working closely with students to help them adjust and excel at SMU rather than feeling puzzled alone! What makes SMU unique is the university's drive to enhance diversity and inclusion on-campus via cultural events and check-ins."

Sierra Woolsey

Sierra Woolsey (She/Her)

  • Hometown: Carrollton, TX
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering

"SMU has so much to offer, and that can be overwhelming for many students. I am very grateful for the help I received in navigating through all of the available resources, and I am hoping to pay it forward by helping others find the resources they need and navigate college life. I look forward to forming connections with other students and guiding and assisting them in any way I can."

Titus McGowan

Titus McGowan (He/Him)

  • Hometown: Sachse, TX
  • Major: Biological Sciences and Spanish

"This commitment to innovation and collaboration creates an environment that fosters creativity and critical thinking, making it an ideal place for Peer Academic Leaders like me to thrive and make a difference."